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  5. Last-ball thriller between SRH and RR exposes long-standing flawed LBW rule, Dale Steyn suggests solution

Last-ball thriller between SRH and RR exposes long-standing flawed LBW rule, Dale Steyn suggests solution

Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Rajasthan Royals by one run in the last-ball thriller with Bhuvneshwar Kumar trapping Rovman Powell in front of the stumps. But what if the decision was overturned on DRS and Powell was not-out? Even then SRH would've won. Here's what the flawed rule says...

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Updated on: May 03, 2024 13:05 IST
IPL 2024, T20 World Cup 2024
Image Source : INDIA TV / GETTY A major DRS flaw that ICC needs to address soon

Sunrises Hyderabad might have won the last-ball thriller by just one run against Rajasthan Royals. But the victory has exposed a long-standing flawed rule in cricket with less than a month to go for the T20 World Cup 2024. It was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who trapped Rovman Powell LBW on the last ball, when two runs were needed, to seal the win for his side. The latter took the DRS to no avail but interestingly, even if the decision would've been overturned, SRH would've won by the same margin and nothing apart from the wickets' column in the scorecard would've changed.

Yes, according to the MCC laws of cricket 20.1.1.3 - The ball will be deemed to be dead from the instant of the incident causing the dismissal. This means, even if the batters scamper through for a leg-bye or the ball reaches the boundary after hitting the pads, nothing will be considered as the ball is deemed to be dead as soon as the umpires adjudges the batter lbw. Even if the decision is overturned, the runs are not counted for the batting team.

This incident has happened several times in international cricket and even in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but not on the last ball of the second innings. Notably, a similar incident took place in IPL 2021 eliminator between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Kolkata Knight Riders. RCB were batting first and in the last over of the innings, Harshal Patel was adjudged LBW by the umpire only for the decision to be overturned on DRS. The batter had run two on that delivery but as the umpire had given him out, the runs were not counted with ball being dead at that moment.

Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra highlighted this flaw soon after the match between SRH and RR on Thursday (May 2). He explained the existing rule how SRH would've won the match even if LBW decision was overturned. This was a league stage game and the repercussions wouldn't have been as much in that case. But what if this happens in the IPL final or in a crucial knockout game in the T20 World Cup or in the final of the tournament? Well, the heads will definitely turn then like it happened with the bizarre boundary count rule that led to England winning the ODI World Cup 2019 final.

Interstingly enough, former South Africa cricketer Dale Steyn has come up with a solution to avoid the controversy citing the rules in Baseball. He has suggested to keep the ball in play even after the batter is adjudged out by the on-field umpire and let the batting team run and the fielding side field until the ball officially becomes dead like it happens for any other legitimate delivery and then the LBW decision is looked after.

But the question is will the MCC or the ICC bat an eye towards this major flaw in the rule? Will the rules and regulations be changed only after something like that happens in a World Cup final? A lot was said in the aftermath of the World Cup 2019 final which literally robbed New Zealand of their maiden ICC silverware.

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